Engineering firm hires Freeholder to get government contracts

Mercer County Freeholder John "Hop" Cimino has a new job: he's been hired to do "sales and marketing for both

Mercer County Freeholder John "Hop" Cimino has a new job: he's been hired to do "sales and marketing for both the public and private sector" for T&M Associates, engineering firm that has done work for Mercer County and other public entities. That means Cimino will be able to use his contacts as a county official to drum up public engineering contracts for the firm – not a bad gig.

"John, like his father, Skip, both formerly worked at CMX," said Peter McDonough, a spokesman for T&M. CMX was formerly Schoor DePalma, a politically connected engineering firm.

According to their website, T&M clients include the New Jersey Highway Authority, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The firm also had the engineering contract for Baldplate Mountain, which is part of the Mercer County parks system.

Private sector clients include Wal-Mart, which won't help Cimino with labor groups that have never completely trusted his father, former Assemblyman Anthony "Skip" Cimino.

In 2005, T&M acquired another politically active engineering firm, JCA Associates. A year earlier, the president of JCA and two senior executives pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns that concealed illegal campaign contributions.

"John's joining us is a reflection of his enormous expertise and of our commitment to hiring the best and the brightest," said T&M CEO Kevin F. Toolan. One Mercer County Democrat found that funny, suggesting that if they want the best and brightest, they would have hired another Freeholder, Daniel Benson.

Engineering firm hires Freeholder to get government contracts